I just received the comments from my first as yet unfunded grant. Okay, so it’s not technically “my” grant…technically my PI’s, since I’m a lowly third year graduate student. However, I wrote the entire grant myself and generated every bit of the preliminary data. So it’s mine, dang it!
I’m not too upset about it not being funded. It was just a small grant to a private organization, albeit a very large private organization that I would like very much to fund me. Or my project, as it were. We’re still waiting to hear back on basically the same grant submitted to a similar organization.
I’m actually quite optimistic about this project now. The reviewers enumerated a lot of strengths, so I was quite pleased about that. The weaknesses they discussed were ones we were already (all too) aware of (except for that bit about my PI misspelling his own name in his biosketch and the bit about the one reference that has been refuted, even though the general finding holds).
The weaknesses, on a first skim through:
Reviewer 1: We haven’t done adequate time in this model. (Well, we haven’t.) And it’s soooooooo different than the model you’re currently using. (Only all the mechanisms of disease are almost identical.) Also thought the proposal was better suited to an “innovative” type grant rather than a regular “research” type grant. (We debated this long and hard.)
Reviewer 2: Spontaneous disease isn’t the same as induced disease. (Really? We hadn’t noticed. The point is to try our method of treatment in spontaneous disease.) Blah blah blah. (Didn’t understand what that was all about. Don’t know that there’s anything in the grant about that. Will look.) Is this other cell type affected by the treatment? (Don’t know. That cell type doesn’t really play a role in our current model. Another reason to try this model!)
Reviewer 3: Aim 2 sucks. Give me more preliminary data and I’ll try to get excited. (I’m working on it. Kinda sucks when the mice take 3+ months to even get sick.) By the way the PI is an idiot and can’t even spell his own name. (I could have told you that.) By the way, the paper that you referenced that demonstrated X, that paper has been refuted by these papers. But X that you cited it for is still true. (Oh noes! You know the literature better than me. I’ll do better next time.)
Maybe later we can talk about all the positive comments about how awesome I am!